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Dawson County defense steps up, Tigers beat Vikings, 24-6
Tigers' early trick play TD sets tone in road victory at East Hall
Sterling Bailey of East Hall wraps up Dawson County runner Zach Martin during Friday night's game at East Hall. - photo by Tom Reed

Dawson County had a plan entering Friday night's game against East Hall: contain the area's leading rusher in the Vikings' Jamond Witt.

When the game was over, Witt had 25 yards to his name on 19 carries, and the Tigers coasted to a 24-6 win at East Hall Stadium in 8A-AA play.

Aside from a stingy Tigers (2-6, 2-2 in 8A-AA) defense, the Vikings (3-5, 2-2) buried themselves with turnovers (four) and timely personal foul and unsportsmanlike penalties.

"We just had to keep him contained and not let him get free, because if he gets to the outside, he's gone," said the Tigers' Ethan Brown, who made several tackles at defensive back. He also scored on a 23-yard hook-and-lateral from receiver, and kicked a 28-yard field goal.

"We preached that in practice."

The hook-and-lateral early in the second quarter opened the game's scoring. Tigers quarterback Tyler Dominy completed a 5-yard pass to Bruce Clark, who pitched it to a streaking Brown.

Brown, who ran down the sideline untouched for the score, said the Tigers' coaching staff installed the play this week after reviewing game film of the Vikings.

"We saw (on tape) the outside linebackers were running with the wheel guy, so we decided to put it in," Brown said. "That was the first time we ran it."

The Tigers' next possession ended in a 27-yard punt that Witt tried to field off the ground, despite charging defenders only a few yards away. He was unable to field it cleanly and the Tigers recovered on the Vikings' 27.

On the next play, Dominy sold a pump fake downfield, allowing Clark to get wide open for a touchdown reception.

The score put the Tigers ahead 14-0 with 3:29 remaining in the first half.

"We knew their corners were biting hard and would try to make a big play," said Dominy, who completed four of his seven passes for 54 yards and rushed for a 17-yard touchdown at the start of the fourth quarter. "As a quarterback, you've got to sell the pump fake to make sure that cornerback bites, and it ended up working. I read the cornerback and I saw him bite. It was a good play for us and shifted the momentum toward our side.

"It was a huge play in the game."

Inside a minute to play in the first half, the Tigers had the ball at midfield and rushed for 4 yards, bringing up a third-and-1. Instead of calling a timeout, they let the clock run and Eian Perry broke a 28-yard run to put the Tigers on the East Hall 17 with 7.9 seconds remaining.

Dominy then completed an 8-yard pass to set up Moore's field goal as time expired, giving Dawson County a 17-0 halftime lead.

On the last play of the third quarter, the Vikings lined up to punt, but the snap went over punter Ricardo Rosales' head and he recovered on the East Hall 17.

Dominy's touchdown run came on the next play, the final dagger for the Vikings after two interceptions, two fumbles and 65 yards of penalties that stunted promising drives.

The Vikings also came away empty-handed after the game's opening drive, which melted nearly 10 minutes of clock and spanned 16 plays and 76 yards. They turned the ball over on downs when the Tigers stuffed the run on the 4-yard line.

"We had great effort, thought we moved them on the lines pretty well and the first drive went real well," Vikings coach Bryan Gray said. "But you just cannot turn the ball over. You can't beat anybody with (four) turnovers, and that's the story of the game."

Perry led the Tigers with 61 rushing yards on 12 carries and Clark had three catches for 40 yards.

Carlos Negron led the Vikings with 72 rushing yards on 14 carries and quarterback Zach Groover scored on a 1-yard run. Groover was 6 of 16 passing for 69 yards and Chaz Cheeks had three receptions totalling 48 yards.

The Vikings travel to Banks County, and Dawson County hosts Rabun County. East Hall and the Tigers will need to win for a chance at a top three finish, which would position them for a Week 11 region crossover game that determines a state playoff spot.


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